NaBloPoMo Day 4 – Deutsch als Fremdsprache Intensivkurs Modul 1
On September 24 I started the first module of the Intensive German class. This class runs 4 hours per day, 5 days per week for 5 weeks. I am 6 days into the class now.
And I like it.
That’s a lot of German every day, but it is a really good way to learn another language. The teacher is speaking 99% of the time in German. Occasionally she will translate something to us in English or will answer our question in English. But, other than that, all German all the time.
There are people from many different countries that have many different native tongues in this course. It is neat to see a representation of many cultures, continents and races in our classroom. Everyone is trying to achieve the same goal — to learn to speak German — but each person has a different reason for being in Germany to begin with. A recently graduated US military high school student whose lived here for 7 years, a military spouse hoping to be able to work for a German company after completing all 6 modules, a few women whose significant others are German, a married couple from South America with family ties to Germany, people in the University nearby, Mennonite missionaries, people that have moved to Germany to better their and their families lives because work/money in their home country was not good enough.
The like-language-speakers kind of all flock together. Occasionally we have simple, halted conversations in our few words of German with people whose language we don’t speak (think Spanish and Russian and Portuguese, for instance). Everyone is so nice and accepting. Everyone so WANTS to learn German. We wish we could converse with all in the room in a shared language.
The first day of class I felt good because I had had about 4 sessions of my once a week German course. Yeah, that good feeling was quickly gone within minutes of the class. We were introducing ourselves using very basic “I am …” “I live in …” “I come from …” type sentences. One person would ask, another would respond. We all went around the room at one time being the questioner and another the answerer.
Everyone talked and I knew what the questions were to be and what the response was to be, except when it came to me. There was this disconnect between my brain and my mouth. I went to speak — a question that had been repeated no less than 40 times that morning! — and all that came out was, “uh, duhhh”. Intelligent, MomMom. That’s what a college degree does for you? “Uh-duhh?” Seriously? At least that’s how I felt. I felt that since I was a reasonably intelligent person with a college degree that learning a language should be cake walk. I should have no trouble with it. Ha. Good thing I had notes written and could look at those to ask and answer my questions.
The next days got easier. It started to click a little bit. I feel a little more comfortable with those basic questions and answers. I have even had to ask a couple questions and say a few statements to German speakers. And the best part is they understood and responded to me! That is success! And that makes you feel so good.
I’m excited to continue through this course. I hope to be able to take at least 3 more, if not all of the remaining 5 courses. I owe it to my child learning German in Kindergarten. I owe it to her to at least try to maintain that language when we move back to the States. I wasn’t given the opportunity to learn a second language at a young age and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to give this to Big Ive. LOML is on board and supportive, as well.
If you would have asked me before we moved here if I would have ever chosen to learn the German language I most likely would have laughed at you. But now I am fully embracing this difficult language (difficult coming from English, anyway), learning to speak it in my late 20s and yearning for the day when I can understand everything that is being said around me.
Tomorrow is day 7. : )